NBA Draft 2011: Complete First Round Mock Draft with NBA Comparisons
This year's NBA Draft is just around the corner.
Being one of the weaker drafts in the past couple years, many aren't excited about this draft.
One thing many people are failing to recognize is that this year's NBA Draft is lacking in star power, while it has an abnormally large amount of key role players.
This isn't so good for the lottery, but for the contenders, this means they can find that last piece to the puzzle.
The entire first round is full of players who can definitely help a playoff team go farther in the post season.
With each slide, I have included the closest NBA comparison to each player.
I will look at each lottery pick in depth, while only brushing upon the rest of the first round's players.
Enjoy! And please leave feedback.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers Take Kyrie Irving
NBA Comparison: Chris Paul
Irving is one of maybe two or three players in this draft that can become a star.
Kyrie possesses a deadly jump shot, from medium and long range, and can take the ball to the basket.
What he does best, though, is set up his teammates for easy buckets.
He can also be a lock down defender at times, making him one of the more all around players in the draft this year.
Cleveland's looking to rebuild, and Kyrie is where it will all start.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves Select Enes Kanter
NBA Comparison: Al Horford
Enes Kanter is this year's best center prospect.
He plays smart down low and in the post, and he has a nice touch on his jump shot.
He also plays physical on both sides of the ball, making him a good post defender aswell.
Kanter is also a strong player with a nice body for a big man. He uses his size and body to his advantage down low, as he bangs his way to the basket.
Aside from his back to basket game, he can face up with a good looking, and efficient, jumper. He also knows how to put the ball on the floor and find his way to the basket.
He is an effective rebounder as well.
Minnesota's biggest need is at the center position, and Kanter will help them turn things around.
3. Utah Jazz Jump at Brandon Knight
NBA Comparison: Deron Williams
Brandon Knight is a very intriguing prospect, and in my opinion, is probably going to become the most successful player from this draft.
He is a great defender, can set his teammates up, knows how to put the ball in the basket, and he is deceptively strong for his size.
Many people fail to realize the resemblance, but Knight plays very similarly to Deron Williams. Both rely on isolation plays and amazing ball handling to get to the rim, but both can also step outside and hit a jump shot, and both are great facilitators who are willing to give the ball up.
They are both also big for their positions, and use strength and size to abuse smaller guards.
This advantage also helps them both on the defensive end.
I have Utah passing up on Derrick Williams and picking Knight just because he is oozing with potential, and is a really all around talent who can become a star one day.
4. Surprised Cavalies Quickly Select Derrick Williams
NBA Comparison: Michael Beasley
Did Derrick Williams really just fall to the fourth overall pick? Yes, and the Cavaliers are excited beyond belief!
This is no knock on his game, as I think he is currently the most talented player in the draft. He fell this far, because he didn't really fit the needs of the other three teams who already picked.
Cleveland couldn't pass up Kyrie, Minny already has Williams's NBA comparison on their team, and Utah thinks they can move either Harris and Millsap or Harris and Favors for a small forward and a shooting guard.
Cleveland now has the draft's two top prospects.
Kyrie and Williams would be an explosive one-two, inside-out punch, and they could make each other look so much better.
Williams can get down to business down low, or step outside and hit the J. He can also blow by defenders on his way to the rim.
5. Toronto Raptors Select Jan Vesely with the Fifth Overall Pick
NBA Comparison: Hakim Warrick
Jonas V's contract issues scared off the Raptors, and Toronto felt like they're set at point guard with Jerryd Bayless, so they passed up on Kemba Walker.
Vesely is selected fifth overall, and he fills a need for the Raptor's at the small forward position.
His athleticism fits perfectly into Toronto's fast paced system, and his above average outside game compliments Demar DeRozan's game.
Vesely also has tons of potential. Being compared to Warrick isn't a bad thing. Warrick also had a promising game coming into the league, but his work ethic held him back.
That's what it ultimately comes down to for Vesely, is he willing enough to put the work and practice in to become great? If so, the Raptor's get a steal of a pick at the fifth overall.
6. Wizard Find Running Mate for John Wall, Take Kawhi Leonard
NBA Comparison: Gerald Wallace
It's the second coming of Crash himself.
Leonard is the kind of guy who isn't afraid to get dirty. He does all the little things right and provides a lot of help on the defensive side of the ball.
He will also help ease the rebounding load, being one of the draft's top rebounders.
His transition into the NBA will be an easy one with John Wall on his team. Wall lives off of setting up teammates for easy baskets, and Leonard's supreme athleticism will help him get those easy opportunities.
Playing with Javale McGee will also help ease the burden on his shoulders when it comes to defense.
All he needs is a little more work on his jump shot, and Crash 2.0 will be helping lead the Wizards to the playoffs in no time.
7. Sacramento Kings Help Put Tyreke into Natural Positon, Select Kemba Walker
NBA Comparison: Allen Iverson
Kemba instantly will help Sacramento with it's two biggest needs.
1. A true point guard to help move Tyreke Evans into his natural position at small forward.
2. A positive influence in the locker room.
Walker has always been a leader and a winner, as he showed this year. He isn't afraid to get in his teammate's face and tell them what they're doing is wrong if it means winning a game.
Sacramento has a troubled locker room, with nutcase Demarcus Cousins, and the giant ego of Tyreke Evans.
Walker will help make peace in the locker room, while also contributing massively on the court with his blazing fast quickness, sharp crossovers and adept skill at putting the ball in the basket.
8. Detroit and Their Horrible Management Jump at the Black Hole Which Is Jonas
NBA Comparison: LaMarcus Aldridge
Let me start by saying this, Aldridge is my favorite player, so I am not quick to compare others to him.
Ok, now that I have that out of the way, let's just say Detroit may find a gem in the rough, or end up miserable for years to come.
Let's look at the positives.
Detroit may end up with the next Ricky Rubio.
Now let's look at the negatives.
Detroit may end up with the next Ricky Rubio.
It's positive because Rubio is a really good ball player, as is Jonas.
It's negative though, as Jonas has the same contract issues that Rubio had two years ago when he was drafted.
We only found out last week that Rubio will be coming to the league.
What has happened for the two years Rubio was still overseas? His team got worse and worse.
The same situation may come up with Jonas, but Detroit has horrible management, so they'll probably jump at Jonas V.
9. Charlotte and Their Need for a Big Man Take a Chance with Biyombo
NBA Comparison: Ben Wallace
No offensive game at all.
Deadly rebounding and shot blocking.
Under size for the center position.
Making up for size with length, athleticism and non stop motor.
The two sound amazingly similar now, don't they?
Biyombo is relatively a mystery, as was Wallace when he first came into the league.
Charlotte needs a big man to replace Kwame Brown, and fast. They aren't going anywhere with one of the worst first overall picks ever as a starter.
10. Milwaukee Bucks Look for Shooting, Select Klay Thompson
NBA Comparison: Kyle Korver
Thompson is a lights out shooter who lacks elite athleticism.
Although he is not quick off his feet, his high basketball IQ let's him get his shot off and finds him lanes to the hoop.
Milwaukee was the worst offensive team in the league last year, and John Salmon's did not live up to the expectations.
The Bucks pass up on Jimmer Fredette, as they already have Brandon Jennings as their long term point guard, and Fredette is too small to fill the void at shooting guard.
Thompson can help a lot on the offensive end, as he will spread the floor for Jennings to work effectively.
He can also get big man Andrew Bogut easier shots, as defenses will have to always know where Thompson is.
11. Golden State Warriors Look for Defense, Select Chris Singleton
NBA Comparison: Tony Allen
Singleton is the draft's best defender, plain and simple, and defense is something the Warrior's are in desperate need of.
The days of Don Nelson are over, and the defense must be brought back to the Golden City.
Singleton is a very versatile defender, as he can block shots, steal the ball, lock down perimeter scorers, and hold down big men down low.
These are all attributed to his amazing athleticism, quickness, strength and length.
He is lacking a lot on the offensive side, though, but offense is the last thing Golden State needs with David Lee, Stephen Curry, Dorell Wright, Reggie Williams, and most importantly, Monta Ellis on the team.
Singleton could be the last piece that helps Golden State make the playoffs.
12. Utah Jazz Look to Add Fire Power to the Wings and Take Alec Burks
NBA Comparison: Demar DeRozan
Alec Burks is a carbon copy of DeRozan.
A high scoring shooting guard with below average shooting abilities. He averaged over 20 points per game without a reliable jump shot.
Imagine the damage he could cause if he had a consistent medium range/long range shot.
A special trait Burks has is that he can almost instantly light up the score board.
At any given moment, he can single handedly lead his team to a 10-0 run because of his amazing offensive abilities.
He has really pretty handles, and he puts them to good use on his way to the rim.
His elite athleticism, agility and quickness combined with good IQ let him come up with creative ways to finish at the rim.
Although he needs to work on his jump shot, (something he is doing with NBA star Chauncey Billups) he will likely help out the Jazz with their scoring instantly.
13. Phoenix Suns Take the Alternate Route, Pick Tristan Thompson
NBA Comparison: A smaller Marcus Camby
Thompson is a physically gifted player.
He is a bit undersized for a big man, but he has great length and athleticism that help him over come those problems. He is a good shotblocker, but where he really excels is rebounding.
He can be a force on the offensive and defensive glass, and he will certainly help a team right away.
One advantage he has that many people forget is that he is left handed, making him a little less predictable in the post.
Also, like Camby, he can be an effective scorer when needed (See Camby's rookie season stats)
Phoenix needs defense and rebounding right now, and really don't need another scorer. They can find that in next year's draft.
On a side note, a Nash and Thompson combo can be really fun to watch!
14. Houston Rockets Look to Replace Yao Ming, Draft Big Man Donatas Motiejunas
NBA Comparison: Arvydas Sabonis
Sabonis was an underrated big man, and could have been one of the greatest centers the league has ever seen were it not for an injury problem (that could have been avoided) and if he were allowed to leave the USSR to come to the USA to play.
Sabonis and Motiejunas have a lot of similarities.
Both are long.
Both are tall.
Both can shoot the ball with the best of them.
Both are really amazing passers for big men.
Both could rebound and shot block.
Enough with what Sabonis could have been, because we just may witness what he would have been with Donatas joining the league.
15. Indiana Pacers Forget Who OJ Mayo Is, Draft Scoring Phenom Marshon Brooks
NBA Comparison: Kobe Bryant
The comparison is based completely off of play styles.
Brooks won't admit it himself, but he plays a lot like the Black Mamba, and less like Jason Terry, who he compares himself too. That shows a key trait that will help him develop; he is a very humble person.
He doesn't want to make himself seem like the next Kobe, even though he could be, and he's just trying to avoid attention, but it's really hard to avoid attention with such an amazing skill set.
16. Philidelphia Looks for Elton Brand Replacement, and Find Marcus Morris
NBA Comparison: Al Harrington
Morris fell this far due to a real lack of potential, because he has a really developed game.
Think of him as a very less shot happy version of Harrington who also helps on defense and on the glass.
He can come in and slowly take over Elton Brand's starting job with hard work and practice, as he is already a legit scoring option from down low or the perimeter.
17. New York Knicks Pick Jimmer Fredette and Throw a Ceremony to Follow
NBA Comparison: Jason Terry
New York has shown huge interest in Jimmer lately, and they got what they wanted.
What Jimmer isn't good at, defense, is something the Knicks could care less about. They're just always looking for offense, offense and more offense.
Coming into the league, he will probably start off the bench, then take over the starting job the following season from Chauncey Billups
18. Washington Pick Markieff Morris to Replace Their Own Power Forward
NBA Comparison: Andray Blatche (with less of an ego)
Morris will come into the league to replace the man he is compared to. Blatche won't be happy with it, but as of now, the Wizards really could care less.
Morris is the better rebounder of the two twins, and the better low post player. He is less polished on his outside game, though he has a very reliable jump shot that he can fall back on. Playing with John Wall will only help him look better.
19. Charlotte Looks for Perimeter Scoring, Welcomes Jordan Hamilton
NBA Comparison: Tracy McGrady
Hamilton is as smooth a player as you can find in the draft. He has a sweet stroke that will only help him in the NBA. He is plain and simple a great scorer, and that is what Charlotte is looking for.
The only way I see Hamilton not being picked by Charlotte with this pick is if he is already gone. He will only help ease the pain of the soon-to-be loss of Stephen Jackson (who will likely be traded to a contender like Dallas).
20. Minnesota Looks for Depth, Takes Tobias Harris to Back Up Beasley
NBA Comparison: Stephen Jackson
Harris is a very versatile player who has a really all around game just like Stephen Jackson.
The main difference between the two, though, is that Harris is said to have an amazing work ethic and no ego or attitude problems, which will only benefit him and Minnesota.
21. Portland Remember Last Year's Draft, Picks Kenneth Faried
NBA Comparison: Gerald Wallace
The comparison is mainly because Faried is an amazing rebounder for his size, the all time leader for the NCAA as a matter of fact, and they are both tenacious defenders who hustle on every play. They also both have amazing hair and will most likely be on the same team.
Portland considered picking Faried in last year's draft, before he pulled his name out of the draft pool.
22. Denver Nuggets Make a Risky Pick and Take Jeremy Tyler
NBA Comparison: Blake Griffin
I hope no one has forgotten what Tyler is capable of. If it weren't for his dumb mistake of leaving high school to go pro, he would be a top five pick for sure. For now, he has become a mystery due to limited playing time as a pro.
He has amazing athleticism and size, and has good length as well.
The difference between him and Griffin is that he uses the athleticism, and the length Griffin is missing, to also block shots. Oh, and he has a reliable mid range shot.
23. Rockets Look to Add Depth After Letting Go of Yao Ming with Nikola Vucevic
NBA Comparison: Luis Scola
Nikola is a really smooth and skilled big man. He lacks outstanding athleticism but makes up for it with high IQ and a nice post game.
He also has a smooth stroke from mid range which only helps mask his lack of athleticism also. He has skill to go along with the size, something many big men are missing nowadays.
24. Oklahoma City Thunder Add Experience and Depth by Picking Kyle Singler
NBA Comparison: Kyle Korver
Singler is an excellent shooter and leader. He also has a winning mentality and experience when it comes to winning, something this Thunder team is missing.
He can also be used to help let Kevin Durant rest more each game, and his shooting will help leave open lanes for Harden and Westbrook to take advantage of with Durant out of the game.
25. Celtics Look to Mask Loss of Perkins by Taking Jajuan Johnson
NBA Comparison: Hakim Warrick
Boston is looking for a big man to replace the loss of Kendrick Perkins. Johnson is a very underrated player with great athleticism and length. He also has a really sweet stroke from mid range.
Johnson needs to polish his already reliable post game a little more and become more of a rebounding presence. If he does, Celtics could still be contenders come next season.
26. Dallas Mavericks Look for Their Next Franchise Point Gaurd in Darius Morris
NBA Comparison: Andre Miller
Morris also reminds me a lot of current Dallas point guard, Jason Kidd, from his early seasons. Morris is a crafty passer who can finish off the drive. He is also a below average shooter, something that Kidd needed to work on as well early in his career.
Morris plays with a level head and gets his teammates involved, and he can score when needed to. These are all traits Dallas is looking for.
27. New Jersey Tries to Find Ways to Keep Williams Rested by Taking Nolan Smith
NBA Comparison: CJ Watson
Smith can be a spark plug off the bench, just like Watson. He would be brought in primarily to help Williams rest. He can be brought in to play smart basketball. Smith also brings a winning mentality and experience to a team really lacking either.
Smith always plays with a level head and that will help him a lot due to his lack of athleticism. His shooting and scoring off the drive will also help, as will his great passing skills.
28. Chicago Bulls Find Another Scoring Option in Shelvin Mack
NBA Comparison: Nate Robinson
Shelvin Mack is an outstanding shooter and scorer, both of which Chicago lack outside of Derrick Rose.
Mack can play as a combo guard, meaning he can't play time at the point guard when Rose is out, or even play alongside Rose. He will be able to guard most shooting guards due to his deceptive quickness and excellent strength for a guard.
29. San Antonio Spurs Look to Start Fresh by Adding Reggie Jackson
NBA Comparison: Tony Parker
Reggie Jackson has mant similiarties to the French Phenom, and if San Antonio takes him, he can be under his mentoring.
The Spurs already have pieces that they can start a future dynasty with in George Hill, rebounding menace Dejuan Blair and defensive specialist Tiago Splitter. All they need is a point guard, and high scorer Reggie Jackson should fit in well.
30. Bulls Take Chandler Parsons to Add Needed Depth to Small Forward Position
NBA Comparison: Luke Walton
Parsons would give the Bulls an insurance policy on Luol Deng, who has been injury prone in the past. He could also be an all around player who can contribute off the bench with his shooting and passing skills.
He also has great size for the small forward position and is a good leader who can help the bench immensely when key players and team leaders are out of the game. Also, he adds more rebounding to the bench to go with Taj Gibson, and has proven himself in the clutch time and time again.